Alpine School District’s vision for learning states, ‘Our students acquire the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions in each content area and the fundamental capacities of collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity, citizenship, and character.’ Our pursuit of that vision led us to focus resources on 21st century/deeper learning. This project—providing extended, job-embedded professional development for teachers and principals and providing instructional coaches—will have a larger impact on teaching and learning than any other initiative to date. We expect this impact to be seen in unprecedented student engagement K-12 and in developing skills for success beyond high school.
We believe Hanover will help us in both our student academic goals and teacher and administrator goals by examining our practices, and then providing us with validation of the effective work we do, as well as identifying areas that do not align with best practices for teaching and learning for 21st century/deeper learning. When contemplating engaging with an external partner, I recommend school district leaders ask themselves and their constituents two questions. First, what is it that we most want our students to know and be able to do when they exit our school system? In other words, what kind of graduate do we hope to produce? Next ask, how can we know whether our current professional services are aligned to achieve those ends? A serious pursuit to measure our effectiveness likely leads to an external partner, like Hanover, who can help us see what we on the inside cannot.